Shard builder plans world’s tallest skyscraper in Saudi Arabia

220px-Kingdom_Tower,_Jeddah,_renderThe builder of The Shard skyscraper in London will be the project manager for the planned 1,000-metre-high Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – the proposed tallest building in the world.

Mace will manage the development in a joint venture with construction consultant EC Harris, part of Dutch group Arcadis. The skyscraper will be built by the Saudi construction firm Bin Laden Group.

The tower’s height is planned at almost three times the height of the Shard (at 308 metres), although by precisely how much is a secret. The structure will take over from Dubai’s 828-metre Burj Khalifa as the world’s tallest skyscraper.

The tower is to include a hotel, serviced apartments and luxury condominiums.

Plans were unveiled 18 months ago by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal as the centrepiece to the Kingdom City development in Jeddah, a major Red Sea port.

“One of the reasons we hired them is they are going to use the same team that was on The Shard,” Waleed Abduljaleel Batterjee, chief executive of developer Jeddah Economic Company, told British trade magazine Building.

Oil-rich Saudi Arabia is undertaking multibillion-pound projects to improve its infrastructure and meet its burgeoning housing needs, spending more than £263bn in the five years to 2013.

Jeddah, the country’s second-largest city with around 4 million residents, has long complained of neglect.

Firms will “start mobilising” in April and construction work should start by the middle of the year, Batterjee said.

Construction will take just over five years.

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